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Expats working in Kuwait private sector slows down

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 28: The number of expatriates working in the private sector has slowed from around 7 percent in 2016 to 5.7 percent in 2017, and to only 2 percent in 2018 and 2019, according to official statistics, reports Al-Qabas daily.

The statistics sent by the Ministry of State for Economic Affairs to the National Assembly showed that in 2016, the increase was about 100,000, falling in 2017 to 86,000, and the increase in 2018 amounted to 33,000, and in 2019 only about 24,000.

The total is currently 1.66 million workers in the private sector. Follow-up sources confirmed that this has several reasons, most notably the decline in economic activity in the past two years after the boom that prevailed earlier, especially when the oil prices hit record levels in 2013-2014, and the decline in economic growth are related to the reasons to increased fees on services that hit some expatriates who earned modest salaries, and as a result there has been a partial or total departure of families who have left the country entirely or the breadwinner has stayed behind while the family has left to ease the burden.

It is noteworthy that this has coincided with calls for increasing Kuwaitization and substitution, but this did not appear in the private sector as it appeared relatively in the public sector, because the number of citizens in the private sector did not rise, but fell from 72,549 in 2018 to 71,013 in 2019, i.e. 1,500 citizens left work in the sector in just one year.

There are also several reasons, most notably the continuation of the public service in competing with the private sector in several factors, most notably financial advantages and practical flexibility.

The Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) is in the process of issuing more regulatory decisions on the assessment of the need and signing of contracts for employment of workers on government contracts and has already begun to work on the estimated request of the contracting ministries, reports Al-Qabas daily.

The sources said that the assessment of the needs through PAM is a step to fight the visa traffickers who have taken the advantage of loopholes to hire workers in bulk much more than the actual requirement on a number of government projects and contracts.

PAM has taken measures after it was found that many contractors are not committed to providing employment within the projects for workers brought from abroad thus violating the terms and conditions of the contract. On the other hand, PAM announced Friday the temporary suspension of work at the Al-Saddiq Center which is dedicated to receiving entrepreneurs from Oct 6 for 30 days due to malfunction in air-conditioning units

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